Tale of the Tape: Third Down Struggles at Oregon
Photo Credit: Paul Bellinger

They Said It: Oregon 42 Nebraska 35

September 10, 2017

Notable quotes from Nebraska’s 42-35 loss in Eugene to Oregon in the second game of the season.

Mike Riley’s opening statement:

“It’s been a pretty common fact for the games that I coach on that if you lose the turnover battle and you don’t rush for as many yards as the other guy you lose the game. That’s kind of where we’ve been for a long time. Really, really disappointing start of the game. They made some plays and we had maybe some opportunities to make a play right off the bat and did not, and then we really let it get out of hand by the end of the first half. It was very disappointing. 

“The illegal formation was a killer. Maybe we’re not in bad field position if we just converted; that was a really bad, disappointing play. Then in the second half we started to make some plays. Defensively we started to get some stops and football’s momentum. As disappointing as a lot of that was — we’ll have a hard time watching some of that film — this team, I told everybody from the beginning I really like this team, and I’ve really enjoyed them. It’s really a team. The football was really inconsistent today, but the team is good. They kept playing and we had a shot. As bad as it was, they had a shot.”

Linebacker Luke Gifford on what the mindset was at halftime for the Blackshirts:

“We’re down 42-14, and you’re wearing an ‘N’ on the side of your helmet. At that point it’s like, all right we’ve got to have some pride and play hard and represent your state and ourselves, our brothers. You look at all those people up there who traveled here for us how many thousands of miles? It just reminds you that it’s so much bigger than ourselves. We tried to make sure we remembered that in that second half.”

Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf on the offensive performance in the second half:

“I thought we did a great job of coming out in the second half and we had two excellent scoring drives,” Langsdorf said. “We talked about it at halftime, just getting back into it one play at a time and I thought we did a nice job there. I think they got settled in and got some confidence after those two drives after halftime and got back into it.”

Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco on his role at halftime:

“Give them specific things, systematic things that we can change to help them. And then some other fundamental and alignment changes and tweaks that we can give them. Real information to help them. And then we try to refocus the unit’s energy on playing each play individually, as one play and not looking at the scoreboard or thinking about the first half.

“I saw a resilient focused group that was looking for some answers, that was looking for some help, but resilient and locked into getting it. Guys that were ready to step up and say, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to make this happen.’ And they had that look in their eye, and they’ve never not had that look in their eye.”

Cornerback Eric Lee Jr. on what he learned from this game:

“I got to know my teammates better than I ever had before. We easily could have just rolled over  and said ‘All right, we lost,’ just hopped back on the plane to Lincoln as soon as we can. But my teammates fought, they fought hard and did something I’m proud of.”

Quarterback Tanner Lee on his impressions of a crazy game:

“I think it’s something that we’re going to use later in this season. The things we learned in this game, going into halftime down like that and then coming back, and then giving ourselves a chance was at least a positive we can take out of that.”

Wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El on the illegal procedure penalty that took away a key fourth down conversion for Nebraska:

“I wasn’t on the line. That was on me. I didn’t check with the ref before I went out there, I thought I was already on it. I looked at the end and I wasn’t. That was on me.”

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